Six months ago, business aircraft manufacturers were publicly confident that their backlog of new aircraft orders stretching well into the next decade would provide a buffer to ease the industry through what was already flagged as an economic crisis. Today, cancellations and delivery deferrals are eating into those backlogs, and the OEMs are making adjustments that were only being hinted at two months ago.
The recent addition of the Hawker 1000 to Haggan Aviation’s repair station certificate makes the company eligible to work on all Hawker Beechcraft models from the 1A through the 1000.
Haggan Aviation has provided routine and heavy maintenance on Hawkers and Learjets since 1996 and recently delivered its first Hawker 1000 48-month/16-year inspection with a complete interior refurbishment.
Acknowledging the reality of today’s economic situation, aircraft manufacturers Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft have announced workforce reductions and revised delivery schedules. Avionics maker Rockwell Collins has also announced layoffs.
Jim Schuster, Hawker Beechcraft’s chairman and CEO since June 2001, on November 20 announced his intention to retire from the Wichita aircraft manufacturer. “Earlier this month, I began discussing my retirement plans with our board. After nearly eight years as CEO, I feel the time is right,” Schuster said.
Jim Schuster, Hawker Beechcraft’s chairman and CEO since June 2001, announced today that he notified the Wichita aircraft manufacturer’s board of his plans to retire from the company. “Earlier this month, I began discussing my retirement plans with our board. After nearly eight years as CEO, I feel the time is right,” Schuster said.
Despite Hawker Beechcraft announcement earlier this month that it is to lay off 5 percent of its workforce in the face of the global economic slowdown, executives with the U.S. manufacturer here at the MEBA show say the Middle East remains one of the few remaining bright spots for airplane sales. This is why it recently opened a new sales office in Dubai.
Hawker Beechcraft chairman and CEO Jim Schuster informed employees on Friday that the Wichita-based aircraft manufacturer will lay off 5 percent of its workforce, affecting about 500 people. He cited “very serious challenges facing our company due to the unprecedented worldwide economic decline” as the reason for the layoffs.
Hawker Beechcraft Services (HBS) is spending $14 million to expand its aircraft maintenance and service facility at Indianapolis International Airport. The expansion will include a new 6,500-sq-ft terminal and a 40,000-sq-ft maintenance hangar with 20,000 sq ft of back shops and administrative offices. Up to 50 new jobs will be created, with the newly upgraded facility due to open in the second quarter next year.
For the first time in several years the unabashed exuberance that has prevailed at the annual NBAA Convention was replaced by concerns– if not outright fear–that business aviation’s rapid rate of climb is now nosing over into a descent that will likely be felt beginning in 2010 or 2011 and last for at least two years.